Family Day draws hundreds to Kentucky Air Guard Base

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Vicky Spesard
  • 123rd Airlift Wing Public Affairs
Classic cars shining in the sun, braying farm animals in a pen and bounce houses filled with laughing children all lined the end of the runway next to a C-130 during annual Family Day activities here Sept. 13.

In partnership with the Airman and Family Readiness Office and the Key Volunteer Group, hundreds of family members and guests of Kentucky Air Guardsmen gathered for the day's events, which began with a welcome address from Col. Barry Gorter, wing commander of the 123rd Airlift Wing.

"It's not that often that we get the opportunity to say thank you to our families who, are always there as our support structure," said Gorter, who addressed the crowd inside the Fuel Cell Hangar. "Today's events are a gesture of appreciation to the families, our one chance to say thank you for your support of our Kentucky Air National Guard members."

Activities for Family Day included a classic car show, jousting events, a C-130 Hercules static display, bounce houses, games and crafts. There was also a petting zoo of farm animals, pony rides and therapy dog interactions.

"Today was a great day for the family and kids," said Staff Sgt. Aaron Kiger, who brought his wife and two young children. "The weather is beautiful, the kids are having fun making crafts. Family Day is always something they want to come out and do every year."

In the hangar, where the majority of the day's activities were centered, an AAFES store was set up with various items for sale, the Key Volunteer Group held a raffle, and family services gave away Boy Scout popcorn and Keurig coffee.

School supplies donated by Operation Home Front were also given away in the hangar to anyone who had the need, as well as backpacks that were distributed by the Kentucky National Guard youth program.

Many community organizations were on hand, including the local chapter of the Veterans of Foreign Wars and the Department of Veterans Affairs, to promote their services to members of the base.

"I was very impressed with the activities that were available here today," said Airman 1st Class Robert Carlson, who attended the event with other Airmen. "The car show and AAFES store was great to have for us single Airmen who like to come out for Family Day, but don't necessarily have a family. It was a good day for everyone."